I’m sure like most of you, I am SOOOOO ready for 2021. With that being said I am going to lay out below what everyone should expect for next year based on the un-paralleled, un-expected, and completely over-whelming banner 2020 for the Golf Industry. Now I’m no expert but I’ve been doing this for a while so here we go.
- Equipment Delays – Things should get back to some normalcy next spring as most manufacturers have shifted mass production out of southeast China (pretty much where most club components were produced) to other destinations (Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, and wait for it…..USA!). Quite frankly with the needed tariffs enacted from our last administration along with fines for blatant ” knock-off’s” that have always come out of China, this will end up being a good thing mid & long-term for our industy.
- New Product Lines – As most manufactures were faced in early 2020 with severe governmental shut downs to production coupled with delays/tariffs (just to get the components to build) most are prepared for a projected difficult winter and new spring release for 2021. The nice thing here is “prepared“. What we (in the golf equipment industry) experienced last spring was un-paralleled. I can personally attest as Hodson Golf was shut-down for fittings nearly 6 weeks in Late March-Early April which typically comprises 70+% of our yearly business-But we are on track to have a banner year overall for 2020!
- Current Conditions (as of 11/12/20) – Basically everyone and their brother is now playing golf. In Mid-April it went from the golf world/economy is going to end, to holly cow we don’t have enough tee times or carts (Late May 2020). Currently, most of the shelves are now cleared and only accounts like us can custom order clubs and/or build them ourselves to get them to our customers in a timely manner.
- PGA Show – typically most O.E.M.’s (original equipment manufacturers) will promote their new lines during the annual PGA show in Orlando early Winter to release in the Spring (but that won’t be the case this year). To be honest most of my Rep’s have come to see me within the last week to debut the new lines (which I must say are pretty exciting – see below). I sincerely hope the annual PGA show will still continue in the following years as its such a great resource for everyone in this great industry.
- 2021 New Product Lines & Pricing – I honestly thing 2021 will be the most exciting and transforming year in the Golf Equipment Industry. I firmly believe you will see consolidation in this industry and quite frankly some will not make it. The manufacturers with the best equipment, best technology, best production with tighter tolerances, and (best-of-all) customer service will continue to take market-share.
- Summary – I think the days are gone of manufactures spending exorbitant amounts of money to sponsor tour players to push a specific club (why is it always the driver?). Do your own research – what PGA Tour players (who actually make a handsome living in this game) actually play brands/equipment manufactured at the same specs/quality/tolerances as those made for retail – you will be shocked. To be perfectly honest the drivers you see some of those tour players bombing down the middle are not even close to the identical model most people buy “off the rack”. Most O.E.M’s are publicly traded although some are not. I’m always going to put my money with the company spending more on R+D than marketing but that’s just me (but it hasn’t failed me yet). Disclaimer – this is my opinion and you know what they say about opinions.